Hanks handed Bigelow her Oscar – now he wants to win one with her

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The Independent Culture

Kathryn Bigelow's first film since winning an Oscar and widespread critical acclaim for The Hurt Locker was always bound to be a big deal. Yesterday anticipation crept up a notch, with the announcement that the Hollywood heavyweight Tom Hanks is to set to be her leading man.

The specific plot for Triple Frontier – which has been rumoured will be retitled Sleeping Dogs – is yet to emerge. Set in the rough and ready tri-border region of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, however, it is expected to be akin to Steven Soderburg's violent and much-lauded thriller Traffic. The area around the confluence of the Parana and Igazu rivers is rife with drugs and weapons smuggling,as well as people-trafficking.

Yesterday the film's producer, Charles Roven, told the movie website comingsoon.net: "Tom Hanks is starring in the film and we're still looking to cast the other roles. We're hoping to start shooting the movie sometime in mid-March."

Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Sean Penn had all been rumoured as contenders for the main role, but one or more of them could yet make appearances in supporting roles.

Such a line-up would surely guarantee greater box office bucks than The Hurt Locker received, which was the lowest-grossing winner of the best picture Academy Award in Oscars history, despite glowing reviews. With its screenwriter Mark Boal in tow once more, however, Bigelow's next move is expected to retain critical plaudits.

It will be a busy few months in front of the camera for Hanks. Next year he will appear in the title role of Larry Crowne, which he has written and directed himself. He is also scheduled to take up a role in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a 9/11 feature by the British director Stephen Daldry, as well as the latest offering from the Wachowski brothers, Cloud Atlas, alongside Halle Berry, Sir Ian McKellen and James McAvoy.